Four big differences between school & uni

The transition between school and university can be somewhat daunting for some, read on if you’re wondering what to expect:

1. The campus

This may be stating the obvious, but this university is far bigger than your average public school. Coventry University is located in the heart of the city centre, so not only do you have access to all the shops, but you can also find every uni building easily – one is never far from another. With that being said, it will take time to get use to your new surroundings. Therefore, if you plan on arriving in Coventry a few days before your course starts, be sure to take a walk to familiarise yourself with the campus, find out what is where and then you won’t be late, lost or stranded in a desert with no food or water when it’s time to go to class.

2. Living away from home.

For most, this will be the first time living away from home as well as from Mum and Dad, which means it’s time to become more independent. Not having home-cooked food every day may feel like the apocalypse has just come, but cooking for yourself will become commonplace – or at least turning on the oven and making sure your frozen pizza doesn’t burn. Nonetheless, moving away is exciting, but at the same time it’s time to be a grown up.

3. Student loan

Now we students seem to think we have 4 Christmases a year – 3 student loan payments during the course of the academic year and then actual Christmas Day itself. When payments are made, every student feels a sense of wealth, but trust me, this feeling doesn’t last long! Although the sum of money you receive seems like a big number, don’t be fooled; remember you have responsibilities now, such as paying rent and bills. With the time difference between payments being approximately 12 weeks, you must ensure you have enough money to see you through to the next payment. But do yourself a favour and get a part time job – this never hurts.

TIP: Sit down and calculate how much money you have remaining after your rent is paid, then divide the total by the weeks remaining till the next payment, to calculate your weekly budget.

4. Learning format

Slightly different to your average school day, classes can start as early as 9am and finish as late as 6pm – some don’t even start until late afternoon. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have classes all day – more often than not there will be gaps in between, which gives you an opportunity to grab something to eat or drink or do a bit of studying in between classes. At uni, classes are run in two different formats: lectures and seminars. Lectures are where you gain your knowledge by note taking,seminars allow you to apply your knowledge in reference to case studies and in-class debates. Lectures are made up of your course peers, whereas seminars are made of smaller groups from the class, these are more interactive and allow tutors to get to know individuals better. You’re treated with the utmost respect by tutors as young academics, and even though all teachers seemed like they were out to get you when you donned your school blazer, I promise these ones aren’t. Be sure to show the same level of respect to them, and you’ll reap the benefits.

From this article I hope I’ve provided a good insight into the differences you are going to be facing, but don’t worry – you’ll soon get to grips with the changes and start enjoying your time at uni. These years can be the best years of your life! 🙂